Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back on Home Turf

Ahh, despite the cold and dreary rain thats falling on NoVa, it is truly good to be home!

I wanted to continue my thought in Charlotte but it took me far longer than expected to get from one side of the airport to the other, but I digress...

Previously, we were considering the polar opposites of error concerning the celebration of the Eucharist. These have only served to blur and obscure not only the beauty of the sacrament, but it's blessing as well. Let me go out to the end of the branch and pose the following: Is the overwhelming body of American Christendom "sick or asleep" due to their idolization or shabby treatment of Sacrament? If we claim to the inspiration and authority of Holy Scripture, we simply can't duck this question.

Holy Communion is first and foremost, Holy. It is a sanctified moment where we partake and celebrate the "mystery" of our faith, this being that "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!". It is a holy moment where the Saint meets their Savior to partake in the body, broken, buried, resurrected, and returning. Our Christ's person and divinity are present in the offered elements. They're neither transformed nor mere tokens.

We need also to consider the mode of the meal. I've watched folk roll through communion like a GMC truck down an assembly line. There's neither reverie nor reverence. Too, I've witnessed the celebration occur without a shred of reverence. These call to mind St. Paul's description of the Corinthian Church.

How then should it be celebrated and by whom?

I believe that first, it must be celebrated with reverence, purpose and deliberation. The saint needs to apprehend that in partaking of the Eucharist, they are entering into the presence of the Holy. The self-examined saint should consider the cost of the sacrifice, where the very expression of the Almighty suffered the torture and death of a common street thug. A cross of judgement awaited us all, but our Christ allowed himself to be nailed to OUR cross. This is so that He might take us as his own and share in this Eucharist in the Father's Kingdom.

It goes without a whole lot of explanation that this is a meal for the saint of God. Not only for the saint, but for the saint who can apprehend even a glimpse of Christ's vicarious and atoning death. I'll not be so legalistic as to pose an "age" where one is ready for communion. I will though pose that a school-aged child who hasn't reached a point of understanding should not partake in the celebration.


jmw said...

Good to see you writing again. I agree with most of this, however, I am for padeocommunion. If you can baptize children, they should have access to the table.

Anonymous said...

andy...godd to see your mind...yes, i think we christians are a bit lathargic and have forgotten or fail to see the awsomeness(for lack of a better word...)of communion. shoot! we even lack in communing with our lord! thank you for the enlightening thoughts my friend.

Anonymous said...

i agree with the fact that a small child should not partake of communion unless they understand what its about. i also think baptism is a choice to take in a commitment to christ. i think on e must be fully aware of what baptism is about. a small child doesnt quite grasp this. my son was baptised as a young adult. i wanted him to make the choices needed and know what it meant. so it is with communion...even us adults need to really know what it is to take communion. it is a very personal moment between you and jesus. to the heart.